Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
This most-familiar story is seen through a new lens as Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch brings us a bold take on the iconic, boisterous, poetic and above all, romantic tale of star-crossed lovers. With HVSF’s favorite longtime couple, Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson cast in the title roles, this revelatory age-blind production reminds us that, while youth may be only skin-deep, true beauty is a quality of the soul, and – in the end – love conquers all.
The New Yorker: Rhoads and Williamson bring their customary intelligence, humor, passion, and clarity to the roles. The director, Gaye Taylor Upchurch, hasn’t fashioned a high-concept take; there’s no winking at the lines that reference the characters’ youth. It’s just actors playing parts, with a fine-tuned ear to Shakespeare’s ever-clever language and construction. Lauren Karaman and Luis Quintero shine, as the Nurse and Mercutio, respectively- Ken Marks
Cast & Creative
The cast for Romeo and Juliet will include Nance Williamson* and Kurt Rhoads* in the title roles, alongside Kimberly Chatterjee*, Kayla Coleman*, Erin DespanieCC, Zachary Fine*, Zoë GoslinCC, Merritt Janson*, Lauren Karaman*, Sean McNall*, Emily Ota*, Will Ormsby CaryCC, Luis Quintero*, Britney Nicole Simpson*, Destini StewartCC, and Roman Alec TrevinoCC.
Romeo and Juliet will feature costume design by Enver Chakartash, lighting design by Stacey Derosier, sound design by Darron West, and prop design by Samantha Shoffner. Kimiye Corwin serves as choreographer/fight choreographer, Orlando Pataboy will serve as the weapons choreographer, Heather Christian will be the composer, and Saul Nache will be the music director. Janelle Caso* will be the Production Stage Manager, and Julia Bates* will be the Stage Manager.
Friar Laurence (R&J); Understudy (BURNS)
HVSF: Kate Hamill’s Pride & Prejudice, As You Like It, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The General from America. Virtual: Badass GalBoss Powerhour, A Christmas Carol (Primary Stages); Sense and Sensibility…
Proudly hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Kayla is a New York City-based actor and singer. Kayla is invested in creating projects across theater, film, and television that examine race/class/culture/gender from marginalized…
Erin Despanie (CC)
Paris (R&J); Shades of Springfield Chorus, Ensemble (BURNS)
Erin is a Native of Lafayette, Louisiana. He’s always been passionate about acting and mental health, which prompted him to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During his duration…
Capulet (R&J); Sam, Bart, Mr. Burns (BURNS)
Zack is thrilled to be back at HVSF where he has worked as an actor, director, teacher, and playwright. Broadway China Doll with Al Pacino. Off-Broadway includes The Acting Company,…
Zoë Goslin (CC)
Tybalt (R&J); Shades of Springfield Chorus, Ensemble (BURNS)
Zoë is thrilled to be performing under the tent this season! Previously with HVSF: Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Educational Tours); Into the Woods (Playhouse on Park); Mother…
Gregory, Lady Montague, Friar John (R&J); Colleen, Lisa, Marge (BURNS)
Merritt is thrilled to be working with HVSF this summer. Devoted to developing new work, Merritt has originated roles in Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Robert Woodruff’s Notes From Underground and Autumn…
Nurse (R&J); Jenny, First F.B.I. Agent, Marge, Itchy (BURNS)
Lauren is delighted to make her HVSF debut! Off-Broadway: The Belle’s Stratagem (Red Bull Theater) Film: Release (Amazon), Duvar (Diversity in Cannes Official Select) Television: Catch Lauren as Kinsley in…
Sean returns to HVSF, having appeared most recently in The Tempest, Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Book of Will, Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for…
HSVF: HVSF2; Emilia and ensemble in Winter’s Tale; Ensemble in Arabian Nights; Miranda in The Tempest. Other theatres: New York: High School Girl and ensemble in The Art of Gaman…
William Ormsby Cary (cc)
Abraham, Peter, 1st Nightwatchman (R&J); Shades of Springfield Chorus, Ensemble (BURNS)
Will is absolutely cheesed to be making his HVSF debut! A Brooklyn-based actor and musician, Will most recently wrapped shooting on the short film, Sanguine Father, and on an upcoming…
Mercutio (R&J); Matt, Homer, Scratchy (BURNS)
Luis is thrilled to be returning to the tent! Recent credits include: Sweat and A Christmas Carol (The Alley), The River Bride (Stages Rep), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Man of La Mancha (Triad Stage), Around the…
Kurt is excited to play in HVSF’s new space! This is his 24th season. This is also the 69th play with Nance Williamson. Some of their notable couplings at HVSF:…
Britney Nicole Simpson*
Lady Capulet (R&J); Quincy, Businesswoman, Bart (BURNS)
This is Britney’s 4th season performing under the HVSF tent! She was last seen in the off-Broadway production of Penelope or How the Odyssey was Really Written. Favorite credits include:…
Destini Stewart (CC)
Balthasar (R&J); Shades of Springfield Chorus, Ensemble (BURNS)
Destini is a graduate of Emerson College and an alum of the Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Musical Theater Institute! Some of her previous credits include Ragtime (Sarah u/s, Sarah’s Friend…
Roman Alec Trevino (CC)
Potpan, Apothecary, Page (R&J); Shades of Springfield Chorus, Ensemble (BURNS)
Roman is excited to make his HVSF debut! An NYC based actor, his credits include: Stage: The Tempest (Dysfunctional Theater), Macbeth (No Name Collective), The Real Life Adventures Of Jimmy…
Nance is so very thrilled to return to HVSF in its new home for a 21st season! Favorite HVSF roles include Cleopatra, Tamora, Beatrice, Nurse, Lady M, Jacques, Kate, Mrs.…
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